The stars wrap a thick blanket over the desert, weaving pinprick tapestry through velvet black, dropping light like a haze over the earth below. Outlining cactus arms lifting to welcome a loving embrace, highlighting the eyes of night creatures who prowl – searching to eat or avoid being eaten. There is no moon to lend aid to eyes not accustomed to the dark. Any living thing out here now knows the way already, or plucked through dangerous flora via artificial means of illumination.
Chaos embodied in fire laps at blacked branches collected from the ground at the feet of ancient mesquites. The rich scent of it filling the air and transforming into taste upon some tongues. Sparks reach up and up, stretching for the stars, as if they might meet – as if upon meeting they might find their soulmates – only to flicker and die out after only a brief dance upon the warm, gentle breeze.
Red, though it doesn’t look red in the altered landscape of the night, drips from gnarled curls of burnt honey onto the bared flesh of shoulders and unbound breasts. A line of goosebumps rises wherever the droplets roll, eliciting shivers that go unnoticed in the face of other things. Other, more important, business. Chilled skin warmed by the heat of flames on one side slides over muscle and sinew, connected to bone, creating a healthy and whole heavenly body anchored to earth by laws which disobey the sheer will and need of the body’s occupant.
Her well worn jeans rest gently upon full hips, her belt claps comfortably forgotten below gently rounded belly; moving together upon sturdy, shapely legs, just as the skin does, obeying her desire for a dance done to no music but what plays in her mind. Arms elevate heavenward, calling to the nothing there, the query there, the truth there, the lie there, the spirit of complete freedom overtaking her – soul and outward.
Fingers clutch cold glass bottle, bring the opening to pouting, sinister lips. Unignited fire washes over the tongue, burns the throat, warms all the way to the pit of acidic fluid which has held no other inhabitant in a little too long. Fasting is not required for the craft to work, but she likes the clean and empty feeling it lends her. She enjoys the extra heat from the agave when she’s hollow. It wiggles within as if it has taken the presonae of the worm at the bottom of the ewer. The last splash of mellifluent inferno is forsaken, expelled over the living flames of the actual pyre she’s built, causing the blaze to jump and dance as they flare to meet her mouth in a dangerous kiss.
That mouth is wet with the drink as well as the sticky, too-sweet crimson tracing fine rivulets from scalp to toe, enough to keep tender derma from singeing. This mouth forms breathless words, power pulsing from the hidden vocabulary though no sound is uttered, no phrase spoken. Syllables there only so her energy has something to wrap around and recognize. Cadence in her soul resembling the beat of her own heart to float her influence higher.
She dances, twirls, spins, pounces, lands, bare feet kicking up small clouds of hard pack desert earth, her body twisting, lengthening, bending to the rhythm inside, movements and silences clashing freight train heavy as fevered momentum finds terminal velocity. Glass crashes, obliterated by jagged rock on the outskirts of her circle. Fire dies down, calming as her heart slows from jackrabbit quick, just as though the two are tied. Beads of icy sweat chase the bloodied paths across her anatomy unnoticed.
Then everything is still. For a single breath, a double thump of heart. The entire world shuts down. Silence so thick as to imitate blindness. A blink brings it all back from the brink, and the desert is alive with night noises which resound as if they never ceased. Eerie catcalls most ears are willfully oblivious to.
Reality crashes forward, destroying the sacred circle, demanding attention. Shirt, jacket, and canvas bag lazily draped over the arm of a nearby bush. Briefly forgotten remnants of her actions prior to her dance littering the underbrush in the form of a needle no longer filled with bright, lazy fluid, and a sharpened sliver of silver sheathed in the same red that dances in tangled hair. Her sacrifice to this moment laying in ragdoll heap, inviting meal for scavengers and opportunists. Reality that reminds her there’s a chance that the life was wasted, that her words tonight have fallen upon deaf ears and failed. She knows that Time is the only one who can reveal the truth, and it isn’t quickly forthcoming with outcomes.